January 17, 2008
Playing a frayed and faded ‘race card’
(Page 2 - Previous Page)It is still too early, and this presidential race is still far too volatile to predict its outcome. What is clear is that Obama's phenomenal appeal to voters is shaking up the long-standing argument from black traditional leadership that racism still reigns in America, and would never allow "a brother" to win the White House. Obama may not win -- but if he doesn't, it won't be because of his skin color, but rather a result of the usual tactical and strategic errors that candidates make.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do not plan to vote for Obama. However, I do believe Obama's highly competitive candidacy puts the lie to the claim that America remains a racist country. While black civil rights-types have been fixated on highlighting every example of a racial slight, no matter how inconsequential, the vast majority of white Americans have simply moved on -- focusing on living their daily lives, paying bills and raising their kids. For this timely gut-check of American race relations we can, in part, thank the candidate: Barack Obama. With both the Obama and Clinton camps striking conciliatory notes in Nevada regarding their recent racial skirmish, perhaps the two campaigns can now get back to real issues, as opposed to racial posturing.
Joe Hicks is the vice president of Community Advocates, a Los Angeles-based human relations agency (www.cai-la.org,) and a KFI talk radio host.
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